DRUG NEWS: Patients may not tell you they can't afford drugs

November 2004 
Volume 34  Number 11
Pages 30 - 30
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    Many patients with chronic illness don't tell their primary care provider or nurse that they've cut back on prescribed drugs because they can't afford them, new study findings suggest. Plus, most care providers never ask patients if drugs are affordable for them.

    Researchers surveyed 660 older adults with chronic illness who said they'd underused prescribed drugs because of cost concerns. Two-thirds of patients didn't tell a care provider that they planned to cut back on their drugs because of costs. People who said they didn't disclose their intentions also said that their care providers hadn't asked them about their ability to pay for drugs.

    About 30% of people said they received information about programs to help pay for drugs. Many perceived that caregivers were “unwilling or unable to help them” with drug cost issues.

    Earlier research has shown that reducing the use of drugs ...

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